How to tell Real from Fake?
School of Applied Science Published on 13 Jul 2018

We launched the new NYP-Shimadzu Innovation & Education (NYP-SHINE) Centre at SCL. Thanks to our partnership with Shimadzu (Asia Pacific), we now have an extensive range of mass spectrometry equipment to test the authenticity of products like food, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and drugs. Simply put, these machines can analyse the basic compositions of products using advanced separation techniques and determine compounds with high accuracy. The results then tell us whether a product is what it claims to be. And all this within just an hour! For instance, products claimed to be Halal can be checked for the presence of pork. Or pathogens that infect farmed food fish can be quickly identified. With such early detection, vaccination programmes can be implemented to save the fish.

Each year, more than 300 SCL students will work at the new centre for chemical and microbiological analysis. The centre will also train The Singapore Chinese Druggists Association members to study the chemical profile of TCM herbs and how different TCM brewing methods affect efficacy and taste. The series of short courses in chemical analysis will run this September.